The Obama Administration has imposed a new Clean Water Act (CWA) dictate that threatens to unleash a flood of federal regulations over people’s land and their lives, from one end of the continent to the other.
This breathtaking power grab takes the form of an open-ended new definition of the “waters of the United States” that are subject to the Act. The rule is so broad and vague that federal regulators would be licensed to micro-manage property owners who are far away from genuinely navigable waters such as rivers, lakes or the ocean.
PLF is preparing to fight back. We’re already known for our precedent-setting victories against CWA overreach — including the 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Rapanos v. United States, which set clear boundaries on the regulators’ reach.
Because the Obama Administration isn’t obeying Rapanos, or the clear limits set by the Constitution and the CWA itself, our response now is simple and blunt: “We will be seeing you in court!”
PLF Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper, who successfully argued the Rapanos case at the Supreme Court, notes that it specifically said isolated waters and “tributaries” to navigable waterways are beyond the control of the CWA. “But these are the very waters that the new rule purports to regulate!” Hopper notes.
“The new edict expands federal regulatory power to an unprecedented extent — violating clear legal and constitutional principles, and undermining the rights and responsibilities of the states to control local land and water use,” said Hopper.
“It is filled with ill-defined terms that add even more arbitrariness to the regulatory scheme,” he pointed out. “All this vagueness allows federal officials to make subjective decisions and to assert the broadest possible interpretation of their jurisdiction. The result will be an environment of uncertainty that undermines property rights, economic growth, and liberty.”
To learn more about the new rule and PLF’s detailed analysis of it, visit: www.pacificlegal.org. Listen to our Courting Liberty podcast on the issue.
PLF attorneys are hard at work developing our legal challenge to this ominous assault on freedom. We will alert you when we file our lawsuit — and keep you posted along the way, as we vigorously prosecute the litigation, up to the Supreme Court if necessary.